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Lib Dems gain seat on Newbury Town Council with by-election win

Elizabeth O'Keeffe elected by Victoria Ward voters

Chris Ord

Reporter:

Chris Ord

Lib Dems gain seat on Newbury Town Council with by-election win

THE Liberal Democrats have won the vacant seat on Newbury Town Council with Victoria Ward voters electing Lib Dem candidate Elizabeth O'Keeffe.

Ms O'Keeffe received 487 votes with Conservative candidate Craig Hughes receiving the second highest number of votes with 307.

Green Party Candidate, Steve Wallis, received 173 while Labour's Gary Puffett received 142 votes.

David McMahon, UKIP, received 118 votes with independent candidates David Yates and Lee McDougall receiving 23 and 20 respectively.

The by-election was triggered when Conservative councillor Emma Green stood down from her post in February.

Yesterday's victory means that the Lib Dems now have six members on the Town Council, however the Conservatives still hold a strong majority with 17 councillors.

Ms O'Keeffe will now join conservative councillors Miles Evans, James Frederickson and Mike Johnson in representing residents in Victoria Ward.

Speaking to the Newbury Weekly News a delighted Mrs O'Keeffe said: "We have done what we do best and build from the roots up and I think that can be seen on a national level too - people are starting to look at the Liberal Democrats again. 

"I think people do care about the local elections, you have the same experiences as they do and that's what you get when you go door to door.

"A 34 per cent turn out for a by-election was a good turn out and so it's the people of Victoria Ward who are the winners.

"If I have strength it is that I'm a people person.

"It's about understanding other people's needs.

"It's going to be a hard slog now but the things that the people are suffering from in Newbury are still there and something needs to be done."

Ms O’Keeffe was a Liberal Democrat town councillor in Victoria ward for four years up until May 2015 and continues to regularly attend town and West Berks District council meetings.

Chief executive of Newbury Town Council Hugh Peacocke said: "Congratulations to Elizabeth on her return to the council and we look forward to working with her."

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Article comments

  • Ihavenonickname

    06/05/2016 - 14:02

    Well done Victoria Ward voters. So it's further Austerity you want with the wolf in sheep's clothing! So when you have nowhere for your book club to meet, you have no children's centres left, you get mugged in the streets with no CCTV watching over you and the public toilets once again close, look closer to home!

    Reply

  • Floating Voter

    06/05/2016 - 11:11

    I hope Elizabeth O'Keefe will be more visible and more active than her Conservative colleagues and than she herself was during her previous tenure. Roger Hunneman and Ruwan were well-known to residents and were here every day during the 2014 floods. Mrs O'Keefe wandered through, was annoyed when I asked her who she was (she expected me to know!) and seemed satisfied with 2 sand-bags per house. The army brought hundreds - after we were flooded.When I complained, she said this wasn't her area! For her info, Victoria does extend into parts of Shaw.

    Reply

    • Elizro

      06/05/2016 - 13:01

      Perception, I was out and about with Roger many times even though my own home had water lapping the air bricks. One day a lorry arrived with sandbags , they said they would leave 6. I stood in front of it when Roger called the control centre to request all for Newport Rd. We were successful. One man came out with his bin and started to fill it for himself. We requested they should be fairly shared. Many residents were at work , they too needed protection. I am in my early 70s but carried bags for younger people to assist. Council did have a limit of bags per house but it was not up to us to say how many anyone should have. We also addressed the sewage issue further up the road. Please contact me directly on any issues.

      Reply

    • Elizro

      06/05/2016 - 13:01

      Perception, I was out and about with Roger many times even though my own home had water lapping the air bricks. One day a lorry arrived with sandbags , they said they would leave 6. I stood in front of it when Roger called the control centre to request all for Newport Rd. We were successful. One man came out with his bin and started to fill it for himself. We requested they should be fairly shared. Many residents were at work , they too needed protection. I am in my early 70s but carried bags for younger people to assist. Council did have a limit of bags per house but it was not up to us to say how many anyone should have. We also addressed the sewage issue further up the road. Please contact me directly on any issues.

      Reply

  • Sir Bob

    06/05/2016 - 10:10

    Another Tory loss. Maybe stop all the cuts and bring back the CCTV

    Reply

  • SteveWallis

    SteveWallis

    06/05/2016 - 10:10

    Correction, please. David McMahon, UKIP, did not receive 173 votes. You have him in the right position, though, lagging behind Labour.

    Reply

    • pops50

      06/05/2016 - 12:12

      Mr Wallis you seem to take delight in stating UKIP were 24 votes behind Labour and 55 votes behind yourself But you seem to forget that UKIP started this campaign from zero not like your party in an election that has been a complete waste of money plus the disruption caused due to the fact that schools , Playgroups etc had to be cancelled for the day

      Reply

      • TonyV

        TonyV

        07/05/2016 - 23:11

        Any 'waste of money' was caused by the ridiculous election for a political chief of police & crime! No schools playgroups etc were closed because of a town council by-election that was arranged to take place on the same day. In any case, blame for the by-election should be shared with the Party that let a vacancy on the council occur.

        Reply

        • SimonKirby

          SimonKirby

          09/05/2016 - 19:07

          No one wastes public money quite as well at the Newbury Town Council. In a year when public services for the disadvantaged and vulnerable are being slashed by the borough council, the town council puts up its precept to pay for even more ceremonial niff-naff: £1,500 for a second town hall flag pole, £2,500 for the mayor’s allowance, £1,000 for ‘civic robe replacement’, £500 for ‘regalia and uniforms’, and £2,000 for the mayor making ceremony, spending overall something like £100,000 on self-aggrandizing ceremonial flummery.

          Reply

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